Smart Villages support in Finland
The SR21 Country Page
information on Smart Villages in Finland
How is the concept of Smart Villages defined?
There is no formal definition of ‘Smart Villages’ in Finland. It may include a village, group of villages, a municipality or a territorial entity for smart development.
Is digital a key feature of Smart Villages?
The aim is to be able to respond in a fast and flexible manner to the needs expressed by local communities in social, environmental and economic development. Digitalisation is a crosscutting feature of Smart Villages.
Is social innovation a key feature of Smart Villages?
Social innovation is mentioned in the 2023-2027 CAP Strategic Plan as an important feature of Smart Villages (along with economic and climate-related innovations) of which issues such as culture, well-being, capacities and security are highlighted.
How is the CAP supporting Smart Villages?
Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Finland
Marianne Selkäinaho, Senior Officer
Yes, specific Smart Villages interventions
- Specific intervention
Under the measure ‘Basic services and village renewal’, many village development projects were financed. This measure covered all kinds of village development and investment projects. They could include village strategies, capacity building, culture, animation, climate action, local economy, cooperation and investments for village house renovations/ activities. Broadband projects could be financed both by LEADER groups or Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment.
Villages have been part of Finnish Local Action Group (LAG) strategies since the beginning of the LEADER programme and have also been supported by the NRN Support Unit, the Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment and the relevant Ministry.
- Other indirect support
Villages could also indirectly get support from other measures like innovation and information activities.
Yes, specific Smart Village interventions planned:
The 2023-2027 CAP Strategic Plan has a dedicated chapter on Smart Villages.
- LEADER/CLLD & cooperation
Smart Villages could be financed under cooperation measures, which implies the participation of at least two different stakeholders in Smart Village projects.
Activities can be implemented through LEADER Local Action Groups (LAGs) or the Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment. The Smart Village approaches, financing levels and territorial width may vary from LAG or Centre to another.
The concepts of smart specialisation and smart adaptation are connected to the Finnish Smart Village concept.
- Innovation including digitalisation
Digitalisation and innovation are crosscutting features in the CAP Strategic Plan.
Maaseutuverkosto – Finnish National Rural Network – Support Unit
Salla Pätilä, Network expert
CAP Network support
Smart Villages support provided by the NRN/ CAP Network:
The National Rural Network Support Unit organises Smart Village networking and activities.
Smart Villages Thematic Group: ran by the NRN Support Unit. It organised events (including regional discussion events) and competitions, collected and disseminated good examples, maintained the smart rural website, and set up a Smart Villages Facebook group. The Finnish Village Movement Association will continue to develop the work of the Thematic Group in the form of a ‘Smart Villages Taskforce’. The Taskforce includes the NRN Support Unit, the Ministry of Agriculture and the National Union of Finnish municipalities.
How are other policies supporting Smart Villages?
Only to some extent/ indirectly
Smart Rural 27 – Smart Villages Taskforce
Information will follow soon.
Smart Villages in Finland
Lantula Village with around 250 inhabitants is situated 50 kilometres southwest of Tampere. In fact, it comprises several villages. An interesting fact is that the village Association has more members (399) than the village has inhabitants. The age pyramid is quite balanced between the different age groups. Most of the inhabitants go to work either in Tampere or Vammala. A big number of cattle stock farms have disappeared. The village has a community house providing various services to people of different age. There is a good spirit, caretaking mentality and everybody is listened to. When covid19 struck the village, support services were immediately put in place. The ideas are implemented. The village has managed to keep the village active, alive and welcoming to new villagers. The village has implemented Leader-projects from circular economy to welcoming immigrants. Ecological thinking has been part of the development projects. Young people are employed by the village during summer. In 2021, five young people from the village were employed. We need the add fundraising activities, capacity building, nature/skiingtrail, cultural activities, events, a village quarterly newssheet and a big voluntary effort (6000hrs /year) by the whole community. A new village plan is under preparation in 2022. Lantula was chosen in 2021 as Village of the year in 2021 i Finland.Read more
Ylläsjärvi village is located in the area of two municipalities: Kolari and Kittilä. Both municipality centres (town halls) are located about 40 km by road from Ylläsjärvi. Ylläsjärvi is a small village (350 inhabitants) and is located in Western Lapland, 150 km north of the Arctic Circle. Village Ylläsjärvi has a lively community with both young and older active inhabitants. The most active group is about 20-30 people and seasonally cottage owners participate in the activities. The village covers about 50km2 and is surrounded by very sparsely populated area. Yet, Ylläsjärvi is a very international village with tens of thousands yearly visitors. We are located next to Pallas-Yllästunturi national park and 40 minutes to Kittilä airport, Kolari railwaysstation and the border of Sweden. The air is clean, pure nature products and clean spring waters available. Winters are cold and snowy, the midnight sun during summer and an autumn full of colors. Our harsh nature is our strength and the main driver for people to visit, work and live here.
Tourism is the main livelihood, but it is still very seasonal and not offering all year round jobs. The Village also has traditional reindeer herding, small-scale nature based product making and remote workers that would like to move here. We have about 700 cottages around the village that are mainly owned by people out-of-village. The village does not have public transportation but the technology and other smart solutions (e.g. MaaS) could help solving the needs locally. We have taken part in Ylläs Around and YlläsTiketti – MaaS pilot projects few years ago. MaaS is a new concept aiming to provide consumers with flexible, efficient, user-oriented and ecological mobility services covering multiple modes of transport on a one-stop-shop principle. MaaS could offer multimodal route planners and different services under one fare and on the same ticket. In 2020 was built the wide fiber broadband network mainly funded by EAFRD, voluntary work and private funding. The budget was over 900 000 euros. The village was selected village of the year in Lapland in 2020.
Tourism is our main livelihood but it is still very seasonal and not offering all year round jobsRead more
Raudanmaa is a rural area with some 600 inhabitants, which consists of several small hamlets and houses surrounded by beautiful lakeside nature, woods, and fields. People live very close to nature which is a great asset that our village can offer both to new residents and visitors. Our main aspiration is to be a service-oriented, innovative village where daily life runs smoothly. We want to bring new, innovative enablers in order to boost the village economy and living conditions.
We are proud of our local community which is very active and supportive of new initiatives. We have several associations organising activities and enabling dynamic communal lifestyle enjoyed by the villagers. We organise regular gatherings on matters that concern everyone and share news and issues of interest on social media.
Want to get involved or know more on what Smart Rural 27 is doing in Finland? Contact us!
Last update: June 7, 2022